And It's About Time There Was Some Support For Cushing's!
My name is Jennye. I am 27 from Surprise, Arizona. It is now September 2007, and I am finally getting answers to health problems I have had since 1990.
Before June1990, I was a health overall active healthy kid. During the month June during a visit to California, I gained 20 pounds in two weeks without any changes in diet or exercise. My mom was very worried, but she thought at the time maybe puberty was hitting. As time passed on, I became less and less active.
In 1994, I started having dizzy spells, very low energy, and even passing out by just walking across the room. After passing out at school, my doctor ordered many tests, including a 5-hour glucose tolerance test. She said I was fine, and I needed to just become more active again. The Dietician said by the way my sugar level dropped I could easily have low blood sugar. I started following the diet, added braces, and poof, 30 pounds came off in about a two-month process. I was back to a slimmer me. As time passed on, my weight was up and down all the time for no real good reason. I kept hearing just watch what you eat and exercise more. My energy levels were up and down, but I was a teen-ager, I was supposed to be all over the place, right?
After I started in college in 1998, my weight was still up and down. Yes, my diet choices probably were not the best during this time especially at breakfast (Skittles or M&Ms & a Diet Pepsi). Eventually, I stopped this after the first year.
On December 24, 2000, I came down with one strong stomach virus or something. I couldn't eat or drink for four days. Finally, on the four day, my mom made an appointment with the family doctor. He gave me a shot and some nausea Rx, and he said to take it easy and ease back on food. I did that, and I started to ease back into my regular diet. and exercise.
About mid-January 2001, I couldn't fit into any of my clothes one day. I was very swollen, and when I weighed myself, I had gained about 20 lbs. I couldn't believe it! What was going on with my body? I kept trying to lose this weight by diet and exercise, but the weight wouldn't budge. Instead, more weight came back on. This continued until a total of 60 lbs had attached to my body in about 2 years time.
In January 2003, I went to a new primary doctor in Arizona. I specifically asked him to checkout my thyroid because something just didn't seem right. When all came back, he said I was normal. My cholesterol was pretty high, but this would go down with strong diet and exercise. Fed up, I put myself on what I call the "Shocker Diet"; I came up with the 1000 calorie a day or less diet. I made sure to get as much of my nutrients and daily requirements in as possible. I stayed on the diet for about a month, and then I added calories slowing to get up to about 1400 to 1800 per day. After about four months, I had lost 30 pounds. I was starting to feel better, so I thought, but I was just so happy to see the weight come off.
I continued working for the next year to get more weight off, but it kept going up and down until I reached my highest lost of 50 pounds in May 2004. After this, my weight would put on anywhere between 10 to 20 lbs at all times, and I was having energy problems. In Sept 2004, I decided I wanted to get checked out. I had a new physical completed by a new doctor. When the results came back, my cholesterol and sugar was high, and my thyroid level was about 4.2. The doc said all of this was due to about 15 extra pounds on my body. She said lose it, and it will all go away. So, I worked very hard to take off the weight.
I finally had it all off in March 2005, and I was so happy. I looked good, but my energy level was all over the place. Since I thought it was just me, I didn't go to the doctor. By August 2005, 30 pounds had showed up again out of nowhere. I was also having many problems with memory loss.
In December 2005, I had another battle with a bad stomach virus. The pattern seemed to be setting itself up again.
By July2006, I had gained a total of 75 pounds in a year and half. I decided to go get checkout again. I went back to the same doctor's office. This time my results came back different. I found out I had very high cholesterol and high blood sugar. AND, I found out I have Hashimoto's Disease. I was put on thyroid meds.
By November 2006, I started seeing someone within the same office. During each visit, she kept asking when I had my kid, and she kept saying, you need to work harder to lose the weight. During one visit, I could hear her talking to someone at the desk about how some patients just are fat and lazy. I had enough. I switched to an MD, who I know would listen, and she is still my current doc. She listened to everything I said, and she is working toward finding the healthier me. One item she tested that I requested is for Cushing's. She explained to me that the blood test isn't very accurate, and most likely it would not show up. BUT, if it is something I wanted to really get checked out she would support me on it, but she would highly encourage me to see an Endo.
When the tests came back with a positive reading, I decided to see an Endo. I went to on listed with my insurance, and it was a HUGE mistake. Within 10 minutes, he had told me twice to join a gym, take pills, or have surgery for my weight. He said he would run around of testing, but he said before filling out the paperwork I didn't have Cushing's and what would my game plan be then for my weight?
After leaving his office with much emotions, I had found Dr. Friedman through this website. I was tentative about contacting him due to my past experiences, but after I said prayers to God to help me find someone, I knew this was the Endo. So, I sent and email, called, and emailed again. It was a good thing because their PC had crashed. When I got the email from Lynne saying I had an appointment, I was excited. LA here I come!
In July 2007, I had my appointment with Dr. F. I came in with my life history and pictures. I didn't do much talking since I had the timeline. I prepared the timeline so just in case I couldn't remember everything, which was a high possibility. He read through every line, and he made notes of his own. He asked questions about different items on it. In the summary, he said I definitely have Hashimoto's. He said it is possible I could have cyclic Cushing's. Afterwards, I had a long list of tests to have completed to help figure out what is going on with me. I am very happy with my choice to see Dr. F.
About two weeks later, I found out I did have a 2mm pituitary tumor, my Coritisol levels were low for the time, my Vit-D and Ferritin Iron was very low, and my CPG was high. So, right now, I am taking my thyroid meds, Fortamet, Vit-D, and Iron, and I waiting on what comes next. and my next appointment with Dr. F. I haven't officially heard I have Cushing's, but I have strong feeling, it is going that way.
My primary doctor is glad all of this was found. Come to find out, she had part of her residency working with Cushing's patients in Arizona.
I feel through my many prayers and other that are praying with me, I will see a better health soon. I am hoping through this board to connect to others that are going through this and to help spread the word about Cushing’s.